Training volleyball players is traditionally a team effort. The team is only strong when its players have the ability to work together, coordinating smoothly to ensure that every player knows exactly what's expected of them. Training, however, is also beneficial on a more individual level, especially for those athletes who want to kick their game up a notch. These training tips and drills will create a more effective individual player, and team.
Shuffle steps might not always be the ideal movement in competitions, but they're a highly effective method for moving players smoothly across the floor. Conducting shuffle drills will help teach your players body awareness and improve their ability to determine how fast they need to move to get to the ball in time.
Stand one player on each side of the net. Have the first player serve. The second player hits the ball back several feet away--ideally at least ten. The first player must shuffle step in order to reach the ball. The further away the ball is, the more effective the drill will be.
Setting the ball from an exaggerated distance gives volleyball players more time to think about their techniques and to think through and exaggerate their own movements. Position players at least 20 feet away from each other and have them set the ball back and forth. This will force them to concentrate on wrist movement and hand and wrist strength.
Toss and Catch Drills
Stand two players at a reasonable distance from one another. Toss and catch drills are designed to help work on fundamentals and improve body awareness and passing capability, so as they pass the ball back and forth, one player should simply catch the ball and pass it back to the other one, rather than trying to hit it through the air. As a coach, pay careful attention to leg movement as the players pass the ball back and forth. Are they using their legs, rather than arms and hands, to complete the pass movement?
Side to Side
Accuracy and movement are equally important in a game. Have players stand on opposite sides of the volleyball net. One player's feet are "glued" to the floor, metaphorically speaking: they aren't able to move from side to side to reach the ball. As they set the ball back and forth, this player will aim deliberately to the left or to the right of the other player to force them to move to reach the ball. The second player will quickly and accurately set the ball back to the same location each time. After five minutes or so, players should switch.
Want to add a little fun to your training session? Try a pile up drill! One player lies on the bottom of the "pile," while others lie on top of them. This can be performed with just two players or with three or more, depending on your needs; keep in mind, however, that the players need time and space to move! Serve the ball toward the pile. As soon as it leaves your hands, the players leap to their feet. The player on the bottom sets the ball first, passing it to a teammate. Each teammate continues to set the ball until everyone has had a chance, then the drill begins again! This drill encourages teamwork and gives your team a better awareness of one another.
Other Top Volleyball Training Tips
Here are some additional tips to consider for your volleyball training:
- A player who knows why they're performing a drill will be more interested in the training process. Give players an idea of what they are trying to accomplish and learn from each drill. Be clear about the goals and purposes of your training exercises.
- Repetition and practice are among the biggest keys to success in volleyball. Take the time to repeat the same exercises often, rather than constantly tossing something new at your players.
- Keep up with good habits, especially in training. Players who develop bad habits in training will be more likely to take them onto the court, so be sure to identify inaccurate techniques before habits start to form.